NAIROBI, Kenya, July 19- Football Kenya Federation Technical Director Andres Spier who also doubles up as the national under-17 coach is hoping his side can get to the quarter finals as they leave for Madagascar for the 2016 COSAFA U17 Cup.
Spier has been in charge of the team for the last one week after taking over from John Kamau and he is pleased with how the team has grown, hoping they will replicate the same in Madagascar.
“Our target is at least to get out of the group stage. We know we are going to meet very tough teams from the COSAFA region but again it is a good platform for us to gauge ourselves and see what we need to do to improve,” Spier said.
He also opines: “This team has grown everyday from when I took charge. Technically and tactically, they are now better.”
In Mauritius, the junior Stars will be in Group B alongside Zambia, Malawi and Madagascar.
Spier insists the bigger picture will be on the African U17 Cup of Nations qualifier against Cameroon on August 5 and he hopes the experience picked from Madagascar will help them strengthen for the tough duel against the West Africans.
“We know it is tough, but we will do all we can to have a positive result in that match. We know we are not a very experienced team because we have been together only for 12 days, but we can work out something good for these boys,” the German said.
His sentiments were echoed by team Captain Prince Korasei Boit who is hopeful the team will shape up well for Cameroon.
“We are excited because this is the first ever assignment we are undertaking as team. We view this as a good opportunity for us to get exposed, learn from some of the continent’s best as we prepare for Cameroon. It will not be an easy outing but we have to do our best,” Boit told Capital Sport.
The final squad of 23 also includes Germany based youngster Brian Ochieng.
The team was sent off by the federation on Monday night in a capping ceremony at their Kasarani Hotel base with FKF president Nick Mwendwa saying it is just but a start of brighter days for youth football in the country.
“I am happy when I see some of the promises we made being actualized. This is just a step we are taking. We may not necessarily say we are going to win but this is a platform to build this team. These boys will go out and do their best,” Mwendwa said.
Kenya begins her campaign on Friday against Zambia in the tournament’s opening match before playing against host Madagascar on Sunday and finishing off the group stages against Malawi on Tuesday.